One Curious Incident

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? A looooong while. I could say I’ve been busy on spring break (traveling abroad, browsing cookbooks, knitting, reading tons, etc.), and you could believe me if you so choose. You don’t have to, though. I read enough in the meantime that I have a lot to write about.

 

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First up: Mark Haddon and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. People recommend books to me all the time. I love it. A LOT. I pretty much adore book recommendations, and find hundreds for myself anyways (see the giant Books to Read list on Notes on my computer if you need proof). And if I get told multiple times to read this specific book by one person or multiple people, and I can find a copy, I will read it. Before the next thick classic on that To Read list, because I feel I need a break (or that I needed one, past tense, after reading The Brothers Karamazov in ten days for a group project).

Therefore, point of the story, this book. The Curious Incident, let’s call it. My cousin had told me she loved it (and as she pointed out, she’s not the biggest reader I know), as well as a couple of friends, I think. I found a copy at one of my favorite bookstores (Used! And the cover cutout was not ripped, like the other five volumes in the store!). I finished The Brothers K (group shorthand, I apologize), and I needed something to read that was thin. And fiction. And not Russian lit. Solution! Yay!

That seems quite peppy considering I actually didn’t like this book all that much. Well. Let’s get to the point here.

The Curious Incident is about an Autistic boy named Christopher. He hates the color yellow, has a pet rat, and talks quite a bit (perhaps too much for me) about Sherlock Holmes. Mostly, he’s talking about Sherlock Holmes because The Curious Incident is kind of a mystery book. Kind of. The premise of it is that this Autistic boy, Christopher, is outside of his house one night when he notices his neighbor’s dog is dead, and that it was murdered. He tries to solve the mystery. And he does, eventually. Yet it doesn’t follow a traditional mystery book storyline because the mystery is solved and then it goes on. And on a ways. And on. And then it ends. (Finally.)

No spoilers here, if you want to read it eventually. I will say that I was kind of surprised at the solution, though Haddon did a nice job of leading that into the post-solution period of the novel – basically, it’s about Christopher finding out the truth about his parents and complications of grown-up romance through the murder of the neighbor’s dog.

It’s pretty well-written. There are definitely parts where I didn’t like the voice Haddon used for Christopher (it’s in first person), but there are times when I thought it complemented the point of the story well and had genuine-feeling reactions without feeling written (if that makes any sense). I love the math-y stuff in this (of course) including the Monty Hall problem. The diagrams explaining that are fantastic, as are the diagrams in the book overall. It’s such a great way to show how the main character thinks, particularly in first person narrative.

Anyways, let’s tie things up here. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime (or Night-Time, depending on where you’re seeing it) gets three stars from me. I guess it was just a little disappointing since people had hyped it up for me. Oh well. It is what it is. I read several things after this and it kinda got lost in the shuffle. More reviews to come.

Have a great day!

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